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How to age ten years in a single morning

How to age ten years in a single morning

March 13, 2007

Right after I hit publish on my previous post, Miles fell off of his stool at the kitchen table onto the hard tile floor. I was sitting less than 10ft away from him and saw him fall and land on his head with a loud thud.

He was silent and his little body limp. And I screamed and ran to him. Picked him up, ran in circles for a few seconds before sitting down. At that point he threw up, mostly milk and a bit of cereal he had been eating. Then he started moaning and crying, holding his little head.

And I freaked out some more. Demanding he open his eyes and look at me. It was like his eye lids were too heavy. He couldn’t or wouldn’t open his eyes and look at me.

I called Rob and he agreed that I should bring him in to the emergency room to be checked out.

I have to say that we are not the sort of parents who freak out needlessly. We have seven kids, not too much really phases us and in all honesty we probably usually are more calm than what we should be.

At this point he was saying his head hurt and pointing to his forehead and one eye. He kept rubbing his head. “Owie,owie.” he said.

I put him in the car and drove my non-bra wearing, non-brushed hair, no make-up self the the emergency room with him. He kept trying to fall asleep during the drive and I kept reaching my arm back to shake his leg.

We went in and sat in the waiting room for an hour while he sat on my lap, clinging to me, face nuzzled into my shoulder. Clearly not acting like any normal two year old. Because we all know that two year olds would rather be stabbed with hot pokers than sit still for any length of time.

I am not sure how to t alk about the rest of the ER visit, other than to say the dr completely dismissed everything I said. Proclaimed him perfectly fine and sent us on our way with instructions to call him if I felt there were any changes.

There isn’t much I hate more than being patronized and have my concerns not taken seriously.

I already knew that there was nothing that could be done for a concussion, thanks to my husband’s highschool and college football glory days. But for the dr to tell me that he could not have possibly lost conciousness. Um, I was there.

That he didn’t hit his head hard enough to break the skin and therefore had no concussion. Um, never heard this before.

That he was acting clingy and lethargic because I had scared him with my over reacting. Um, if I knew my freaking out, which was mild by anyone’s standards, would make my children tired I would do it every night at bedtime. Thanks for helping me improve my night time routine around here!

Miles, emergency room

Here is the obligatory photo. Albeit a crappy one from my cellphone. Complete with my thumb in the bottom corner.

He is acting fine now. In fact he is playing with playdoh and trying to lick it when he thinks I am not looking. So back to normal.

Me? I have aged 10 years and am badly in need of a mid-morning cocktail.

Posted by Chris @ 1:41 pm  

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Comments

  1. random stuff says:

    I’d give your pediatrician a call. Just to let them know what happened, they may want to see him. Glad he’s okay.

  2. Jessie says:

    That E.R. doctor needs to be taken to task. (I’ve always wanted to say that!) Even if he feels like it wasn’t a big deal, he should have been much more sympathetic to you and to your little one! And the whole no broken skin, no concussion thing? Was he serious?

    I’m glad he’s better. And stinkin’ cute, even with a head wound.

  3. Mons Flumen says:

    bastard ER docs. They can’t all be George Clooney, I guess ;)
    I’m relieved that he’s OK. Scary :\

  4. Mrs. Speckperson says:

    I completely understand! Last night Rinn put her hand on the hot oven door. It feels like I will never recover even though she is running around laughing today. Seeing the blisters or her little bandaged hand makes me want to cry. The Tylenol with Codeine probably helps her. They really should give it to the parents AND the child!

    I’m glad he’s doing better now. Very scary.

  5. Christy says:

    Please call your pedes doc. As you surely know, anytime they get knocked out, it should be taken seriously. How did your ER doc not know that?!!!

    Good luck with the little man.

  6. Kai says:

    Oh my! I hope the little tyke (and you) feel better soon!

  7. Jennifer says:

    I took Jack in last week too. It was three in the morning. Did you see the post? Similar experience, except that the doctors were a little bit nicer and understanding, and actually did check him out and tell me he was fine.

    I didn’t think I was the type to over-react either. But you see your child hurt and you will do anything, anything, ANYTHING to make sure there is nothing more you could have done.

  8. halfmama says:

    “didn’t hit his head hard enough to break the skin and therefore had no concussion??”

    Mmm.. what kind of doctor is this? You need to break skin to have a concussion? I’m not a doctor so someone please clarify if this is actually correct but as far as I’m concerned, this doctor got his degree at Lalaland School.

    Glad he’s all right anyway!

  9. robiewankenobie says:

    yeah. time to write the head of the hospital. what a jackass. i’m glad that the babe, and you, are doing better. wshew!

  10. Christina says:

    My daughter did that, landed right on the back of her head when she was 19 months old and passed out cold. I called the ambulance and had her driven to the hospital because I knew I couldn’t drive her, I was completely numb. After I got control I followed in the van with the other 2; fortunately they took me very seriously and she had her first (one hopes only) catscan to make sure all was OK.

  11. meredith says:

    I’m glad he’s okay, maybe just keep a close eye on him for the next 24 hours. Other commenters have suggested calling your regular doctor, which seems like a good idea.

  12. Woman with Kids says:

    Kids are so darn scary. If only they’d sit still, on the floor, surrounded by pillows. I realized the other day, that in his 12 years, Boy 1 has been to 5 different ER’s. Five. I can’t even count how many times.

    Glad he’s feeling better now, at least.

  13. Jennie says:

    Yikes! My son dove, head first, off a chair last summer and we took him to the ER. They asked us all sorts of questions, including whether or not he vomited, lost consciousness, or had any seizures–with Miles doing two out of those three, it seems pretty appropriate that you went today. I, on the other hand, really did overreact (first child, first injury, you know how it is). After answering no to all of their questions, I realized we were going to be getting one very expensive band-aid. I asked, “Are we the kind of people you make fun of for coming to the ER?” My son’s injury was so minor we didn’t even end up getting the band-aid, but their response was still that you can never be too safe when it comes to head injuries. Sorry they treated you so badly, but I’m glad to hear Miles is doing okay.

  14. jennifer says:

    As a veteran of numerous (20+) concusions (usually the same child) I have to question what the doc was thinking because my youngest has had many concusions without the skin breaking. Its called a closed head injury. If your son has problems focusing or with short term memory issues in the next few weeks you might want to follow-up because he may have post concusion syndrome.

    A friend pointed me to your site because she really enjoys your posts. As the homeschooling mom of 2 boys with complex health issues I find your posts very refreshing.

  15. whoorl says:

    I would have popped that doc in the noggin myself. Maybe you should call your ped just in case (says the skittish first-time mom).

    How SCARY. I’m glad to hear that Miles in on the mend, though.

  16. Ani says:

    A quote rom the Mayo clinic:

    “Any child who has lost consciousness after a blow to the head should be seen by a doctor.”

    ER doctor should be taken out and shot, after having his ass sued off for negligent malpractice.

    Please do check with the pediatrician, he may want you to watch Miles overnight and wake him up eveery couple of hours to make sure he’s ok.

    And everyone you know should give you both hugs today.

  17. Jordana says:

    What a horrible doctor! When my oldest was 17 months old, he fell off my shoulders ( was readjusting my grip at the same time he got really mad and threw himself backwards). He hit the hard linoleum floor and started getting tired and all that. When he threw up, the hospital did a CT-Scan and he had a skull fracture, but fortunately no bleeding. However, he never had a visible mark any where on him. No bump. No bruise. Nothing.

    What an idiot doctor.

  18. girlymama says:

    WHAT?? My daughter dived out of the shopping cart at Target and hit her head on the floor. She did not break the skin and did not lose consciousness and she DID have a concussion which we found after a scan.

    stupid doctor. call your pediatrician.

  19. Jess says:

    Did they do a head CT? When my 11 yr old slipped and fell on the ice a few weeks ago and he bounced his head off the pavement. He had a lot of the same symptoms that Miles had. Ped ordered a head CT to make sure there weren’t any fractures or bleeds. I would call the Ped and get a second opinion. Keep an eye on the vomitting. Wake him every hour if he is napping. If he gets extremely moody or emotional call the Dr ASAP. I wish I had the form the Ped gave me here at work so I could give you everything she gave me. Give Miles a big hug and get you a BIG drink when you can. When I get home I will post the info the Ped gave me.

  20. tanya says:

    My daughter (1 at the time) did the head first out of the ikea cart. I have 5 and am also not one to overreact but when she was lethargic and threw up we also took her to emergency. We live in Canada so it costs us nothing but, you have to waaaaaiiiiit and waaaiiitt. after about an hour she was her jolly normal self but we still waaaaaiiiited for the doc to check out the x-rays. She has a nice looking skull!

    Glad your little one is ok. I still say go with your gut instinct don’t let doctors dismiss your concerns. I have heard so many stories of doctors misdiagnosis causing death. (it’s just the stomach flu… oops the kids appendix burst)

  21. kris says:

    Did someone say cocktail? I can be there in an hour.

    You can never be too conscientious. :)

  22. falwyn says:

    The babies, getting hurt — it WILL be the death of us.

    I will stop channelling my inner grandmother now and just hope that Miles is fine, that YOU recover quickly, and that the new night-time routine goes swimmingly… :P

  23. inthefastlane says:

    of course you are going to take your kid to the hospital if he doesn’t move after a fall and then throws up. What a jerk of a doc! I hope you at least called your pediatrician.

  24. Kristy says:

    Ani said what I was thinking–that you may need to wake Miles up periodically throughout the night if it really is a concussion. I had a mild concussion from a car accident a few years with no skin breaking so that doc is crazy saying that isn’t possible. Call your regular doc for peace of mind.

    So glad the little guy is feeling better! :)

  25. Annalise says:

    Poor baby, and poor you. What a day. Hope you are both feeling better by now.

    Being patronised infuriates me too, fwiw.

  26. Sara says:

    That doc needs a head-butt of damaging proportions–or maybe he already had one, considering his words. This post made my heart race. I have told my children that for every year they take off of my life, that’s how many years they get to make up for it by taking care of me in my old age. Hope all is well and that there are no lingering ill-effects.

  27. Jen W says:

    Poor Miles…….Poor Mama!!! You definitely did not overreact in any way, shape, or form. The doctor should have treated you with more respect and understanding. I would call your pediatrician’s office and ask them for their opinion and perhaps have Miles checked out by them. Next time you need to take one of the kids to the ER, call your pediatrician on the way. Many docs will call the ER ahead of time and/or meet you there. It often makes the ER docs more attentive and compassionate. In the meantime, my nursing opinion is that a very large margarita is in order. For medicinal purposes only of course!

  28. JanB says:

    I think that they should have done a cat scan. What a quack. Christopher Reeve didn’t break the skin when he broke his neck. What was that doctor thinking???

  29. elismsue says:

    I remember those days..

    heart in throat…heart in throat!

    I turned my back to get the towel behind me.My son fell out of the bathtub, 28 years ago, and landed on his forehead onto a metal floor heat register. He went limp, barely able to arouse him, flew to doctors where he slowly became more alert. He had never dropped his rattle/toy so they surmised that he never lost complete conscientious. He recovered quickly, I never did!Didn’t make me feel any better..:( Boy, they are sturdy little beings!

  30. Lily Calla's Mama says:

    Everyone else here has given excellent advice, so I don’t have anything to add in that respect. Just wanted to say that you did the right thing and offer lots of get-well wishes for Miles. And a big cocktail to you. :)

  31. Denise says:

    Good lord there is nothing more annoying than a doctor that doesn’t take a mother seriously.. I completely understand! ANd I would totally be calling my own doc!

  32. Carola says:

    As I was reading I was saying to myself “everything should be all right as she is now posting about it…” but seriously, I got very scared with the first lines. I am so glad to hear things are back to normal, that was a scary morning.

  33. Paige Jennifer says:

    First off, I’m glad he’s okay. But I can’t help and giggle at the irony of a boy tumbling off a stool, cracking his head, landing in the ER and the picture you post is of the same boy standing on a gurney.

    I would’ve glued his feet to the floor. At least until age eighteen.

  34. Karly says:

    Oh, how scary! We’ve never had any major head injuries here (’cept that time my son fell face first off the dining room table when he was only 6 months old…but he was fine) so I would have really freaked out. Glad he’s doing better and CALL YOUR DOCTOR. Better safe than sorry.

  35. Julia says:

    Oh, I am so sorry! I have two kids myself and while reading your story I felt like it was happening to me! I hope Miles feels better!
    He very well could have lost consciousness
    - my husband fell off a swing at the same age and was conscious for about five minutes, I would love to kick that doctor for you if I were there!

  36. Maine Mom says:

    I’m glad he’s okay!

  37. jody2ms says:

    oh man! Mia did that once, and it was horrible. I almost lost my mind. Her eyes rolled back into her head and she went totally limp. Just terrible.

    And you are right….you don’t have to break the skin to have a concussion. Kook doctor!

    So glad Miles is fine now.

    How many more gray hairs did you sprout?

  38. Cassandra says:

    When my daughter was 10 months she fell off of a chair onto our hardwood floor and didn’t act like it was that big of a deal. When I felt her head there was a DENT! There was no broken skin but she had fractured her skull. She spent the night in the hospital and had x-rays and a CT scan. She was surprisingly fine, the Dr.s said they were surprised to find no internal bleeding, they had expected to do immediate surgery.
    Your er doc sounds like an ass and I would definatly get a second opinion today.
    Good luck.

  39. Keryn says:

    I agree with Ani–everyone who sees you today should give you both a hug. Good luck–and I think I would write a letter to the hospital. Just to let them know you had an unpleasant experience with one of the doctors. After all, you are a customer of sorts…

  40. elizabeth k. says:

    un-freakin’-real! such a complete a-hole. I am so glad he seems fine, what a colossal scare. i felt faint just reading this. hugs and gentle kisses to him, and you - a good stiff shot!

  41. Bryanne Mayhew says:

    Man - I got hit in the eye socket with a line-drive softball, didn’t break the skin, and the ER doc made someone wake me up every hour to make sure I didn’t have a concussion….

    What was that doc thinking?

  42. Lisse says:

    Wow. After all the big deal being made of concussions in the sports world you would think the doctor would be, I don’t know, less ignorant? Your son exhibited all the signs. No wonder you’re infuriated.

    Do call his primary care doc.

  43. Sadie says:

    After reading about TWO children in the last month or so who have had fractured skulls from similar falls*, I am just appalled at how the doctor dismissed you. Please let us know if you follow up on this with your pediatrician!

    *One fell off a counter while in a Bumbo seat, and another was accidentally dropped on the sidewalk by her dad.

  44. Liz in Australia says:

    That doctor sounds like a complete idiot. How could he tell you he “couldn’t have” passed out when. you. saw. it? Lots of good advice above I won’t repeat - but internet hugs to your sweet little boy, and an e-cocktail for you…

  45. Lilly says:

    Oh my gosh, I freaked out with you as I read the post! I’ve been there and done that and it is just about the scariest thing in the world. SO glad Miles is fine.

    I’m angry with that emergency room doctor though. You did the right thing. I recommend telling your pediatrician and complaining loudly to the hospital.

  46. nabbalicious says:

    That doctor sounds like an ass. But I’m so glad Miles is okay! Yeesh.

  47. Debbie says:

    Chris,
    Glad Miles is okay. I had a concussion at age 27, (dropped on my head by my brother— long story), did not break the skin, it happens. Hope you can recover tonight. Love your blog.

  48. Mary O says:

    Oh my gosh, how dramatic! I don’t blame you one bit for taking him to the ER… any sane parent would have done the same! I’m so glad he’s ok (and still a total cutie!).

  49. Elizabeth says:

    PLEASE PLEASE call your ped and take Miles in for a check. Seven days after my oldest was we were new car shopping, when the wind blew the rear door shut and crscked me in the skull. I lost conciousness. The er doc told me I was fine. The next day when I started haalucinating, my husband took back to the er. Same doc, same response. My husband then took me to our family doc, who oredered an emergency CAT scan and MRI. Turns out I had the worst level concussion you can have (sorry I don’t remember the rating scale). I have post concussion syndrome and still get horrible migraines 5 years later. Get Miles checked out to be safe. Good luck and I hope everything will be alright.

    P.S. Can I try the over reacting bit to see if it’ll get my kids to bed on time?

  50. Sue says:

    I would report the ER doc! Where did he get his license to practice - a Cracker Jack box? And after 7 kids I would think you would have a pretty good feel for what necessitates an ER visit.

    I hope Miles is feeling better, and you’ve had several cocktails this evening.

  51. Fairly Odd Mother says:

    Oh God, that ‘thud’ sound makes my blood run cold. I’m so sorry for you and Miles! Hope everything is ok. That doctor sucks.

  52. liz says:

    That ER doc ought to have his license suspended.

    I’m glad your little pumpkin seems okay.

    I think extra dark chocolate is called for.

  53. Kari says:

    Wow. I want to drop that doctor on HIS head and check to see if the skin is broken.

    What a scary experience.

  54. Grim Reality Girl says:

    I’ve made that same trip and I think I met the same darn doctor! You are not crazy and it is worth it to go to the ER. You made the right call. I’m glad he is okay, I’m loving the ER photo - if only we’d had camera phones for all of OUR trips. My daughter had a concussion — the doctors kept her for a while to ensure there was no brain bleed. They were scared of me because I told them she passed the neurological tests. I’ve had a stroke, so I know the tests and what it looks like to pass :-)

    ER doctors who become so jaded that they no longer treat us with compassion should be shot.

  55. peepnroosmom says:

    Oh, poor mom, poor Miles. I’m glad he feels better.
    Stupid ER doctor. Want me to beat him up?

  56. Kerry says:

    My daughter had a head injury when she was three. The triage nurse asked me three times how old she was, then told me to sit and wait. After waiting for two hours I decided that it must not be an emergency and I went home. While I was getting undressed for bed my husband was insisting that she needed to go back to the ER. While we were talking about it she lost conciousness and we ended up calling 911. They brought her back to the same hospital and the staff was suddenly interested. They transfered her right away into Children’s and we didn’t think she would live. After two days she made a complete recovery and is perfectly fine today.

    So we went from sitting in the ER waiting room for hours with no attention to being transfered to the Children’s ER in an ambulance. You already know enough to keep an eye on him, but I wanted to share my opinion. And since he appears to be dancing for the ER staff he is most likely just fine.

  57. Jen says:

    At first glance of that photo it looks like he is floating… Or maybe I’ve had too much wine?

    Glad he is OK!

  58. Lisa says:

    “Picked him up and ran in circles for a few seconds before sitting down.” I did that with my son a couple of times when he was a toddler and hurt himself and I didn’t know how bad it was at first. I know just that panicked feeling and you have my utmost compassion for your whole morning but especially for those first few seconds.

  59. Courtney says:

    I would definitely call your pediatrician to be on the safe side. I’m sure you were just furious with that ER doc - I know I would have been. You must have been scared out of your mind when he fell! When my oldest was 2, we were playing around and I dropped her onto the sofa. She cried for a split second, then nothing. I thought I’d broken her neck! She turned into a “breath holder” and came to the second she passed out. I’d never been so scared in my life! She did it a couple of times more over the next year or two, but at least then I knew what was happening! They sure can age us years in just seconds.

  60. halloweenlover says:

    Oh my God, Chris, I aged about 10 years just reading this and imagining how it felt. Ugh, how awful.

    I hope he is doing well now.

  61. Polly says:

    Poor baby. Poor Mommy. Those nasty falls really do age you. Thankfully we haven’t had one in a LONG time.
    You might appreciate this post I read recently http://antiquemommy.typepad.com/antique_mommy/2007/03/the_goose_egg.html
    Take care. And I hope you had that cocktail after everyone went to bed! You deserve it.

  62. Jennifer says:

    How’s he doing today? Hope you’re feeling better and you got a big hug from Rob when he got home.

  63. Callie says:

    we just went thru this with my grandson and the 3 questions they asked were
    1. was he knocked out
    2. did he throw up
    3. has he tried to go to sleep
    Geez. fortunately jack had none of those symptoms. I am guessing there is something they would have done for him if those things happened.
    I will tell you a concusion has all sorts of side effects. Hangon girl it’s gonna be a ride. I do hope you go see your family doctor and clue him in on the little one. Please let us know what happens.

  64. R says:

    As these comments show, head injuries are quite common for children, but it doesn’t make it any easier on the parents! Even if it’s your 7th!

    My son fell off the top bunk on his face. I wasn’t in the room, so I don’t know if he lost consciousness. He never threw up and he became quiet, but as far as I know, didn’t try to sleep (until he got to the ER) (by then it was right around his usual nap time!). The skin was never broken, but he did have a skull fracture right at the brow bone and was hospitalized for 2 nights.

    I figure, better to look like the fool-Mom who over-reacts than the one they sadly shake their heads about and say, “Doesn’t she know better? She should have brought that baby in!”

  65. mary anne says:

    Where do you live and who or what do they staff your ER with?
    I worked in the busiest ER in downtown Toronto for four years and had that baby come through our doors with those symptoms you would have been taken very seriously… and been seen ASAP.
    That said if his picture says a thousand words he is already on the mend. There isn’t a lot to be done just watch him closely over the next few days and if there are any changes in his demeanor or level of consciousness get him to a children’s’ hospital ASAP.
    We wonder why we need lady clarol!
    Kisses to Miles and hugs to Mom
    mak

  66. Anne says:

    omg how scary

  67. Stephanie says:

    Those doctors lose sight of the fact that they are YOUR employee! SCREW THEM!!

    Poor Chris… I’m sorry Sweetie. Babies bounce but I’m not so sure about us sometimes.

  68. Ashley says:

    How scary.. I hate when DRs dismiss your concerns, and blame it on an over worried parent. It makes me so mad.

  69. Nicki says:

    My pediatrician did the same thing to me once. I was so angry, I almost switched drs.

  70. maria says:

    I so hate patronizing drs. who treat parents like they’re hysterical. Our job is to be our children’s advocate. I’m glad Miles is okay, I hope you got your cocktail and have recovered.

    My second kid has a serious heart condition. He’s thriving but we’re very familiar w/cardiac terms and he’s had 3 open heart surgeries. When his little sister was born we were concerned that she looked blue. The hospital staff were sooooooo patronizing. B/c we’d had a clear fetal echo when I was pg they “knew” she was fine - kept saying we know you’ve been through a lot but she’s fine - wouldn’t do an echo (it’s non-invasive and although they charge you doesn’t really cost anything). Then later at my ped - our favorite nurse practioner (who has a heart child and used to work in a ped cardiac unit) was listening to her and said “they did talk to you about the murmur - didn’t they?” I was furious. Our cardiologist saw us the next day - everything’s fine - but she’s almost 3 and I’m still angry.

    Sorry to rant - but you’re not an hysterical Mom and how dare they. Hope today is calmer.

  71. Meg says:

    I hope he’s doing better - poor Miles! That doctor sounds like an utter ass…

  72. jen says:

    You poor thing - and poor Miles. Hope he’s feeling better now.

    That ER doc needs shooting (or dropping onto a tiled floor head-first). When my son fell down the stairs (and headfirst onto a FAR softer surface) and didn’t even lose consciousness, they did a CT scan of his head (he’s just a bit younger than Miles). So I’d ring your paediatrician to put your mind at rest, and keep an eye out on him and the drowsiness/pukiness. Oh, and make a complaint about that ER doc - he/she probably isn’t even a paediatric specialist, so hasn’t got a clue about what they are talking about. Nobody should ever dismiss the information from someone who was THERE, and someone who is a mom and knows what their child is like.

    Hope he makes a 100% recovery and you don’t have any more episodes like that. Mind you with 6 boys it’s a wonder you don’t live in the ER - I certainly do, and I only have 1!

  73. zookeeper says:

    I agree on giving the pediatrician a call, to let him know what’s up and how dismissive the ER doc was. The pede knows you and your family, and will take you more seriously.

    Poor Miles!!

  74. Jessica says:

    Are you sure it was the ER doc? Or did some random idiot just walk in out of the waiting room for some errant maliciousness?

    AAAGGHH! I’m furious just reading this, so I can only imagine how you must feel.

    Hope Miles is fine and continues to be so.

  75. Lani from The Wooden Porch says:

    What a jerk!

    My husband and I always joke that when we can’t get our daughter to go to sleep, we just bang her head and she goes right to bed.

    (kidding of course)

  76. Susan says:

    Did the asshole know you have SEVEN KIDS and 12 years of experience in parenting? My God, that pissed me off just reading it. I can’t imagine how it must’ve made you feel.

    I hope Miles feels better very soon.

  77. Susan says:

    Oh, and I definitely agree with calling the pediatrician and relaying what happened (including how ignorant the doctor was).

  78. Elizabeth says:

    Wow, lots of comments! My 6 yo son fell against a water fountain last week. He didn’t lose consciousness but was sleepy and nauseated. I called our nurse line. They said I didn’t have to come in BUT clear fluids only for 12 hours, ice 10 min. out of every hour for 4 hours, check walking, talking, and answering questions every 2 hours for the first twelve hours (setting an alarm at night) then every 4 hours for 12 hours, then every 6 hours for 12 hours. I would hope an ER would give similar instructions! Grr, I’m mad on your behalf.

  79. Rae says:

    That’s just freaky. I’m so glad he’s alright! What on earth was that doctor talking about, concussions and broken skin? I hate it when they act like you don’t even know your own kid.

  80. my float says:

    Oh, this post took me back. My son tripped and fell head first onto the corner of a solid brick wall. There was blood everywhere, he was passing out and his eyes were rollling back into his head. The ambulance took 40 minutes to get here. When we got to the hospital he perked up and ran around the children’s emergency ward covered in blood and gore, and looking like someone had stuck an axe in his forehead. Despite disucssions of plastic surgery, he’s three now and totally fine, and his Harry Potter scar is quite cool!

    Get another opinion if you need it. You know your son and find out if there’s a patient advocate at your hospital. these kinds of doctors have to be reported. Good luck.

  81. Melissa says:

    IMO Doctors are like mechanics — there are good, bad, and shady (or worse!). We still keep a halo around the profession as a whole, and in this age of managed care we can’t depend on the system to ensure the highest level of care for everyone.

    Next time a doctor or other health care professional at a hospital is dismissive of your concerns, ask for the hospital’s patient advocate. The advocate (often a nurse or doctor) is on YOUR side and will assist you to communicate and receive care, very useful when you feel too shy or marginalized to communicate your concerns effectively, or feel that you are being labeled a “complainer” or as “hysterical.” I think most advocates are usually covered by insurance, although there are also private advocates you can hire. The advocate is required to register your concerns and I *think* that the professionals (docs/nurses, etc) are required to answer the complaints before a hospital board. At any rate, there is a form of public, professional oversight that goes on their record.

    When my father-in-law was getting substandard care during one hospitalization for his heart disease, my MIL said quietly, “I’d like to speak with the patient advocate,” and suddenly the nurses and everyone jumped to attention and provided quite a different level of care! And that was before the advocate even arrived.

    I would lodge a formal complaint, Chris — because you probably aren’t the first or last this doctor has dismissed….Thank God your little boy is okay, and I hope you get that drink.

    I’ll get more info and post back with any more details/corrections, but if you google “patient advocate hospital” you can see what different hospitals have to say about their advocates.

  82. cristen says:

    So strange–we just had our first trip to the ER, with our just turned 3-yr-old, on Monday. He fell from the brand spanking new enormous play-house swing set my parents got for the kids (he fell the day after they finished putting it together–24 hours of work later). He was climbing the tallest ladder with a train in one hand and fell about ten feet, luckily only biting through his bottom lip. He was fine, and didn’t need stiches or anything.
    Sorry your ER experience was so awful. What a condescending ass that Dr was.

  83. Carrie says:

    I am furious for you. When my now 9yo daughter was two she was running on a sidewalk and tripped, but didn’t catch herself. She didn’t lose consciousness, but had a hen’s egg size bump on her forehead and didn’t cry–very unusual for our little drama queen. She had a head CT which showed very minor bleeding on the inside of her skull, but not inside the dura (an important distinction). So now, every time one of my kids gets a bump on their head I think–huh, there’s this much bleeding going on in there.

    What the jackass ER doc didn’t tell you is that by the time there’s a “change” following the vomiting, sleepiness, thump on the head, it’s often too late to do anything about. Gosh, I have a sruplus of righteous indignation, I’ll hop a plane and strangle the guy myself. Geez, what a jerk.

    Do definitely follow up with your regular doc. Hugs to the little guy–hope the Swedish fish are doing the trick as mommy tranquilizers.

  84. Carrie says:

    And–contact the hospital administrator and complain. Chances are good that this wasn’t just an “off day” for this idiot. Med school does not a functional person make. (Ask me how I know.)

  85. Kay says:

    I work as a registrar in an ER. That doctor was completely wrong. You did exactly what you should have done. If a child hits his head and then vomits and acts lethargic, they more than likely have a head injury.

    I would write a letter to whomever is in charge of the ER doctors. I’m sure they would like to know of his incompetence before it results in a lawsuit.

    Love your blog!

  86. Ten out of Ten says:

    I don’t get why you have such a problem with this doctor. What did you want him to do differently? You seem so upset that he “Proclaimed him perfectly fine and sent us on our way with instructions to call him if I felt there were any changes.” But he was fine, right?

    Did you want a cat scan? Trust me, as a doctor it’s much easier to just order one. You can bypass a full physical exam, saving you time. The family is typically happy, and you pretty much shut the door on any future litigation.

    But cat scans are not harmless. They are equivalent to about 250 chest xrays in terms of radiation. What are the long term effects of this? No one knows for sure, although it does appear to increase the lifetime risk of thyroid cancer.

    Not to mention your doctor saved you and your insurance company literally thousands of dollars in unnecessary testing.

    So I don’t get it. What did you want done differently? Honestly, to me it sounds like you need a professional hand holder to stroke your hair and affirm for you just how awful the fall was.

    And for crying out loud GET YOUR KID OFF OF THAT GURNEY! Do you want him to crack his head again?

    10/10